Yes there are multiple factors that can increase your risk of developing heart disease. However three of the biggest risk factors are, to a large extent, in your hands. You can help reduce these risks by maintaining health in each area.
1. Blood Pressure
2. Cholesterol Levels
Have you ever heard that high blood pressure is a ‘silent killer’? The reason is that there are not always symptoms that let you know you have high blood pressure, especially in the early stages of developing high blood pressure. If you go to the doctor for annual checkups you should have an idea of your numbers. There are also machines in public places or monitors that you can buy and keep at home that can help you track your blood pressure. But if you’re not paying attention at all to your blood pressure, there’s where the silent issues are at play.
What are the healthy numbers? Here is a chart that can help you decide if you are at increased risk for developing heart disease because you already have high blood pressure. Remember it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.
Today science helps us to manage our cholesterol levels and keep them in the healthy range. If your cholesterol numbers are very high, your doctor may put you on medication that is faster acting than trying to use diet or natural supplements to lower your cholesterol. You still should follow a healthy diet even if you have to take prescription meds for your cholesterol, and there are some serious side effects related to those meds. The problem is that heart disease is also very serious so you may need to take the meds even with the side effects.
Over time you can use natural supplements and that heart healthy diet to help you target better heart health and help you avoid heart disease. A blood test will determine your numbers and the chart below shows the range of healthy, desirable levels – up to high levels that are more dangerous. Your ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) and your ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) are both measured and a total cholesterol number is given using both of those numbers. In my experience medications are focused on lowering LDL levels and natural supplements are focused more on raising HDL levels (which help bring down total cholesterol).
Awe weight issues. It seems like most of us struggle with weight issues today. The numbers are very, very high for overweight and more recently for obese weights as well. It may very well be extremely hard to take off weight and keep off weight, but it is still in our power to do so unless you have a health condition that prevents it (most of us don’t).
We use Body Mass Index (BMI) to define weight. If you are overweight or obese, and especially if that extra weight is around your abdomen, there is extra stress on your heart that can lead to heart disease. Inflammation in your body increases and you become at a higher risk of developing atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Here is a chart that can help you determine your BMI.
Minimize Your Risk Factors
The three risk factors we discussed here, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol Levels and Weight, can all be addressed by your lifestyle. If you are struggling in these areas, make changes – even small changes can make a big difference.
Some of the lifestyle adjustments you can make are with your diet (eating healthier), exercise (get out there and walk if that’s all you can do – and do it regularly), and check into some natural (food-based) supplements that have been proven to help. We don’t advise taking any old vitamins (that you can find at a discount) – do your research and make sure they are guaranteed to work. There aren’t many brands that will offer that.
Eat more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats. Avoid processed foods, high fat and sugar foods and fast foods as much as you can. Let Spring that is coming soon encourage you to get active and then keep active – it can help you in huge ways. Of course do not smoke. Get rest each night, preferably about the same amount say 7-8 hours. Last, manage stress as well as you can – there’s help out there for that as well.
You have only one heart. Making smart choices now will pay off the rest of your life. 80% of heart disease is preventable. A lot of that is in your hands, with the choices you make. Good choices now will equal good results long term.
If you would like to learn more about heart healthy, all-natural (food-based) supplements, visit: Minimize Heart Disease Risk Factors